What Is Bitcoin
The following is an overview of Bitcoin crypto currency. There is a lot more information about Bitcoin than is covered in this article, but one must start somewhere if they are interested in what many are calling the future of money. That future is known as crypto currency, of which there are many. Bitcoin is the most well known of the crypto currencies, but by no means the only one, with which you can use to buy products and services.
The Currency Revolution That Is Bitcoin
Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, created and held electronically. Bitcoin was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin is not a fiat currency like the U.S. Dollar, since there is no government or law involved in its creation. (There is some debate around whether Bitcoin is a currency or a commodity.) The value of Bitcoin is determined by nothing other than what people think it is worth.
There is no independent record of your Bitcoin wealth, and so it is your responsibility to ensure that it remains secure. Bitcoin is designed to be a faster, cheaper and a more secure currency, not subject to the whims of a government currency control board like the American Federal Reserve. There is no way to duplicate, counterfeit, or fraudulently send Bitcoins provided you use the peer to peer network of computers to verify your transactions.
The Total Number of Bitcoins
The arbitrary number chosen to be the cap is 21 million Bitcoins. The creator fixed the supply of Bitcoins to around 21 million, and no new Bitcoins can be added into the supply. Today, there is a limited supply of Bitcoins in existence, with approximately 12 million Bitcoins currently in circulation.
The network is programmed to increase the money supply as a geometric series until the total number of bitcoins reaches 21 million BTC. There are some who feel, as the supply of coins being produced gets smaller, their value will greatly increase.
A Debate Which Is Centered On Bitcoin
Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency based on an open-source, peer-to-peer internet protocol. Bitcoin creation and transfer is based on an open source cryptographic protocol and is not managed by any central authority. The source code is on GitHub.As crypto currency is a decentralized virtual currency, popular with hackers and the open source community it is not subject to any government oversight or control.
All fiat currency is built on trust, backed by the issuing government. Without a reliable infrastructure, some question how Bitcoin can be trusted enought to become truly legitimate money. Some argue that since Bitcoin is built on cryptography and there there is not infallible cryptographic system, that eventually it will become worthless.
Every Transaction Is Recorded Preventing Double Spending Of Bitcoins
Double spending is when a Bitcoin is spent twice and one transaction is never confirmed. The only way to confirm the absence of a transaction is to be aware of all transactions. All newly mined Bitcoins, along with every transaction, are publicly recorded and verified through the network (a lot of privately owned computers around the world – also known as miners).
Each payment transaction is broadcast to the network and included in the blockchain so that the included bitcoins cannot be spent twice. For a new block to be deemed valid, multiple computers on the network must create a transaction log that is verified so that it dovetails with the previous blocks. The block chain is a register of every transaction on the bitcoin network. Therefore, it is virtually impossible to double spend a bitcoin.
Your Bitcoin Wallet Address
Money is handled by a Bitcoin wallet, which is a program such as the official Bitcoin client that creates public/private key pairs that allow you to send and receive money. Your Bitcoins are stored in your virtual wallet on your phone or computer. Once you take the 30 seconds to start your own wallet, it will give you a set of Bitcoin public and a private addresses (also referred to as Keys).
Bitcoins are sent to your wallet via your public key (a receiving address), which is a long string of randomly generated characters that points to your wallet file. You will also receive a second address that is private key that only you know. You should protect that private key and not give it to anyone, lest you lose your Bitcoins.
How To Get Bitcoins
There are lots of ways to acquire Bitcoins. You can buy them, you can receive them as payment for something you sell or work performed, you can become a miner, and you can be given them. Did you know in France, employees can choose to be paid in Bitcoins? If you want to be given some FREE Bitcoins click HERE!
Hopefully, this article has been informative and shed some light on the new form of money taking hold of the world. Crypto currency, and in particular Bitcoin, is changing the face of money as well as the part governments will play in its creation and value.
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